business news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Seattle Times reports that “two months after Starbucks faced nationwide outrage after the arrest of two African-American men at a Philadelphia Starbucks,” Kroger-owned QFC “quickly apologized and suspended a store manager after learning that two black men said they were harassed Tuesday at the Harvard Market store on Capitol Hill … The QFC statement did not say exactly what it was apologizing for. But it said the manager would be suspended ‘until we have all the facts.’

“It also said staffers are participating in a training this year that in part deals with unconscious bias.”

While the customers said that they “felt discriminated against because of their race,” and a video clearly shows a confrontation, there are mixed reports about what led to it … and a number of shoppers told the Times that racial bias would be out of character for a manager who has been decent and inclusive in his “treatment of customers and employees.”

USA Today reports that “McDonald’s said Friday that it will start testing alternatives to plastic straws at select locations in the U.S. later this year.

“The burger giant also announced that it will adopt more eco-friendly paper straws across all its 1,361 restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland, a region where the company started testing the alternative to plastic straws earlier this year. The regional rollout begins in September.”

Banning the use of plastic straws - an initiative embraced by many companies and communities - has become a major component of efforts by environmentalists to reduce the 8 million metric tons of plastic said to pollute oceans each year.

• Hostess Brands has announced the launch of Jumbo Donettes, described as “a new way to enjoy the brand’s signature mini donuts that suits breakfast, snacking, and dessert occasions alike. Jumbo Donettes come in two flavors -- Glazed and Chocolate Iced with Sprinkles.”

”Jumbo Donettes”? Isn’t that sort of an oxymoron?
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